The Newsroom Season 2 Review
HBO offered us only 9 episodes for The Newsroom but this new season of the Newsroom was way more too excited to only have episodes recaps. Tensions, dramatic moments, political struggle and personal convictions let’s have a look on this ambitious season which ended last Sunday.
If in the first season the main story arc was Will’s desire to make his show more serious and a true news show this season was led by one story in particular: Genoa. Since the very first minutes of the episode 1 Sorkin catches our gut and our attention letting us know that the news team has a big problem. They’ve apparently made something really really bad that they call “Genoa”. What the hell is that? It’s not a thing we’ve heard during the year so we’re 100% sure this story is completely a piece of fiction but still what is it? We didn’t hear about it for a moment, just a few glimpses here and there that it is coming. Until finally the word Genoa pops up from nowhere but Sorkin decides to keep it as one of the storylines of the season and not as the main one. We have to be patient. But the more the season is going the bigger Genoa is becoming, setting up its web. We learned at first it’s a big story that can end presidency, then that it’s linked to the army and finally that the whole operation involved Sarin gas uses by the US army. The climax arrives with the episode 7 – funnily the ones with the lowest audience results. Maybe waiting 7 episodes to deal with this story was a bit too long in a show with only 9 episodes. Who knows? Still, the aftermath was highly enjoyable offering some characters good insights especially for Mackenzie who is mentally collapsing.
It could have been a new version of the famous book where’s Waldo but I spent the last episodes wondering where Jerry Dantana was. This guy has been in the middle of the whole Genoa storyline (he’s the one who heard about it, the one who suggested Mac and Charlie to run the story, the one who doctor tape the video…and so on and so on). It was quite disappointed not to see him after the disaster except when Mackenzie discovered what he has done with the General’s (yeah still can’t write his name perfectly) interview. Sadly we don’t see it facing his former colleagues’ and having to explain his actions. The only things we know are that he is suing the NYC bureau and Don who wrote a bad recommendation letter.
It was kinda the 2nd main storyline of the season even if it was supposed to be quite minor. But who hasn’t yelled a “what the hell happened to her blond hair?” when Maggie appears for the first time in the season 2 premiere? Actually this simple haircut offers to Maggie an amazing story. I always loved her character; she is clumsy, funny, ended up in this job a little by chance but is so eager to succeed in it. When we heard for the first time that she went in Uganda where things went a bit complicated none of us were expecting such a dramatic story. That was certainly one of the best stories ever developed in the show this season. Unfortunately the writers lost us a little with the chronology of Maggie’s hair. In one scene she had her beautiful blonde long hair almost looking like a sweet angel and the scene after she was, as Rebecca called her, “the girl with the dragon tattoo”. And even the reason for this sudden change was quite blurry, at first it appeared to be a consequence of what happened in Africa but in the next episode it seemed to be a reaction to Jim’s new relationship with Hallie. It sounded as if writers had a great idea but didn’t know how to deal with it and just decided to keep the solution for the finale.
And what else…?
2011-2012 had been full of News stories from political to social. Thanks to his characters Sorkin deals with some of the last year’s biggest news. Thanks to Jim, Sorkin develops his point of view about how wrong journalism is doing now with politicians. Jim appears as the face of good journalist who is defending his job and investigating instead of being the puppet of politicians and their press agents. It’s also the occasion for Sorkin to criticize Mitt Romney and in general the Republican Party. But apart from the political news, the rest of the stories were just considered as minor stories. With Neal he can talk a little about how much internet and social networking changed the world and the generation who grew up with him. If in reality the Occupy Wall Street movement was quite important, in the show it only deserves a couple of minutes. Trayvon Martin or the sudden outburst in Middle East countries became also minor events we heard about for a few minutes while they deserved a bigger development.
All you need is love….
…. from your parents, friends, colleagues or lovers. Behind the professional aspect of the show, the season also deals with the personal life of the news team. A life which looks like a rollercoaster sometimes but which ended with a happy ending:
– Jim & Maggie: the Ross & Rachel of HBO. They’re both in love with each other but there’s always something on their way. Don, Lisa and now Hallie (the girl from the Romney Campaign bus)….and a lot of misunderstandings. If their relation was tensed for a great part of the season, at the end they’re back to the “best friend in love with each other” mode.
– Don & Sloan: the surprising couple. They started as colleagues then friends and finally lovers; their story evolving slowly but perfectly. They’re so different but so alike at the same time and found in each other the help and support they need when facing problems. Moreover, the way writers decided to start their relation is so unexpected but so damn cute and there’s no doubt it will be an enjoyable story in the future.
– Will & Mackenzie: finally! There were a lot of hints in the episodes letting us know that they were still loving each other. The season 2 was THE year as Will has to explain himself about the message he left on Mac’s voicemail while he was still playing the cold guy who doesn’t have feelings anymore – same could be said about his relation with his father. But at the end he only needs a little pinch to have his wall destroyed and offers us the big cheesy moment of the finale with Will’s proposal.
Conclusion: the season 2 offers great dramatic and tensed moments, great storylines but by focusing on one main story failed a little sometimes in being a show about a simple news team. Still the season was great and even if HBO didn’t make any official announcements the show will be back for a Season 3.